Materials Science News

New Hybrid Materials Could Far Surpass the Current Solar Efficiency Limits

October 13, 2014

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New Hybrid Materials Could Smash the Solar Efficiency Ceiling

Scientists from the University of Cambridge have developed a new method for transferring energy from organic to inorganic semiconductors that could boost the efficiency of widely used inorganic solar cells. Researchers have developed a new method for harvesting the energy carried by particles known as ‘dark’ spin-triplet excitons with close to 100% efficiency, clearing the […]

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Solid Nanoparticles Keep Their Internal Structure While Deforming Like a Liquid

October 13, 2014

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New Research Shows Solid Nanoparticles Can Deform Like a Liquid

Using a combination of laboratory analysis and computer modeling, new research shows that nanoparticles keep their internal crystal structure while deforming like a liquid. A surprising phenomenon has been found in metal nanoparticles: They appear, from the outside, to be liquid droplets, wobbling and readily changing shape, while their interiors retain a perfectly stable crystal […]

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New Method to Control Nanoparticles with Light and Magnets

October 10, 2014

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Researchers Control Nanoparticles with Light and Magnets

A team of researchers has developed particles that can glow with color-coded light and be manipulated with magnets, improving the likelihood of tracking the position of the nanoparticles as they move within the body or inside a cell. A long-sought goal of creating particles that can emit a colorful fluorescent glow in a biological environment, […]

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Crumpled Graphene Forms Stretchable Supercapacitors to Power Flexible Electronic Devices

October 3, 2014

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Crumpled Graphene Forms Stretchable Supercapacitors

New research from engineers at MIT details how two-dimensional carbon “paper” can form stretchable supercapacitors to power flexible electronic devices. When someone crumples a sheet of paper, that usually means it’s about to be thrown away. But researchers have now found that crumpling a piece of graphene “paper” — a material formed by bonding together […]

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Researchers Investigated the Charge Transport Perovskite Solar Cells

October 1, 2014

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New Insights How Perovskite Solar Cells Can Be Further Optimized

New insights into the working mechanism of perovskite-based solar cells could help these solar cells play a prominent role among the renewable energy carriers in future. Conventional silicon solar cells could have an inexpensive competitor in the near future. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, together with scientists from Switzerland […]

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Graphene Quantum Dots Outperform Platinum in Fuel Cells

October 1, 2014

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Graphene Quantum Dots Form Catalyst for Fuel Cells

Researchers at Rice University have developed a cheap hybrid catalyst made from graphene quantum dots that outperforms platinum catalysts for certain reactions within fuel cells. Graphene quantum dots created at Rice University grab onto graphene platelets like barnacles attach themselves to the hull of a boat. But these dots enhance the properties of the mothership, […]

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Engineers Develop New System to Harness the Full Spectrum of Available Solar Radiation

September 29, 2014

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New System Aims to Harness the Full Spectrum of Available Solar Radiation

Engineers at MIT have developed a two-dimensional metallic dielectric photonic crystal that has the ability to absorb sunlight from a wide range of angles while withstanding extremely high temperatures. The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right: It […]

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New “Gold Nanocluster” Technology Improves Solar Cell Performance

September 26, 2014

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Scientists Addvance Solar Power with New Gold Nanocluster Technology

Using approximately 10,000 times less gold than in previous studies, researchers from Western University improve solar power performance with new “gold nanocluster” technology. Scientists at Western University have discovered that a small molecule created with just 144 atoms of gold can increase solar cell performance by more than 10 per cent. These findings, published recently […]

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Theorists Find a New Way to Improve Solar Cell Efficiency

September 24, 2014

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Theorists Discover a New Way to Improve Solar Cell Efficiency

Researchers at MIT and Harvard have discovered a way of rendering excitons immune to getting stuck in minuscule defects as they hop through a material, which could possibly lead to improving efficiency in photovoltaic devices. A major limitation in the performance of solar cells happens within the photovoltaic material itself: When photons strike the molecules […]

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New Formula Improves Liquid Battery Technology

September 22, 2014

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New Formula Leads to Improved Liquid Battery

MIT engineers have developed an improved liquid battery system that could enable renewable energy sources to compete with conventional power plants. Extensive testing has shown that even after 10 years of daily charging and discharging, the system should retain about 85 percent of its initial efficiency. Donald Sadoway and colleagues have already started a company […]

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Engineers Develop New Temperature Switchable Membrane to Regulate Flow

September 19, 2014

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Researchers Develop New Temperature Switchable Membrane

Researchers from the University of Connecticut and Yale University have developed a new membrane with highly aligned nanoscale pores that open and close in response to temperature; this highly porous, valve-like material has many potential filtration applications, including water purification and molecular separation. The membrane was created from a block copolymer that self-assembles into alternating […]

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Graphene Nanoribbon Film Keeps Glass Ice-Free

September 18, 2014

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Scientists Create a De-Icing Film for Glass

Researchers from Rice University have developed a transparent graphene nanoribbon film that can be used to prevent ice and fog buildup on glass and plastic, as well as radar domes and antennas. Rice University scientists who created a de-icing film for radar domes have now refined the technology to work as a transparent coating for […]

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